“Make the (S)wedish Church Swedish Again” : Reflections on the relationship between Theology and Populism of the Sweden Democrats.
Sammanfattning: The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, a systematic theology of the Sweden Democrats is reconstructed from the party’s party program (Valplattform 2021) and Swedish Church election pamphlet (En kyrka för Sverige). This theological reconstruction is limited to the categories of ecclesiology (the Church), theological anthropology (the Human Creature), and soteriology (Salvation), which together serve to detail the party’s theological vision for the Swedish Church, its members, and in turn, Swedish society. The aforementioned theological concepts are selected and consequently examined on account of the thematic attention and allocation they receive by the party. A qualitative method is further employed in an effort to explore to what extent the Sweden Democrats not only define their theological foundations but also utilize this basis in their political discourse. Secondly, the salience of religion, along with other works on populism in Europe, provides this paper with a theoretical framework to explore the populist underpinnings that support and inform the Sweden Democrats’ theological beliefs. This research concludes by demonstrating how the reconstructed theology in the election material provides utility for the party’s populist ambitions and empowers the Sweden Democrats to develop a Christian justification for their own vision of a homogenous social order.
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